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Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17 (2014)

Chapter: 8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels

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Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
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8

Hydrogen Bromide
1

Acute Exposure Guideline Levels

PREFACE

Under the authority of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) P.L. 92-463 of 1972, the National Advisory Committee for Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Hazardous Substances (NAC/AEGL Committee) has been established to identify, review, and interpret relevant toxicologic and other scientific data and develop AEGLs for high-priority, acutely toxic chemicals.

AEGLs represent threshold exposure limits for the general public and are applicable to emergency exposure periods ranging from 10 minutes (min) to 8 hours (h). Three levels—AEGL-1, AEGL-2, and AEGL-3—are developed for each of five exposure periods (10 and 30 min and 1, 4, and 8 h) and are distinguished by varying degrees of severity of toxic effects. The three AEGLs are defined as follows:

AEGL-1 is the airborne concentration (expressed as parts per million or milligrams per cubic meter [ppm or mg/m3]) of a substance above which it is predicted that the general population, including susceptible individuals, could experience notable discomfort, irritation, or certain asymptomatic, nonsensory effects. However, the effects are not disabling and are transient and reversible upon cessation of exposure.

_____________________________

1This document was prepared by the AEGL Development Team composed of Sylvia Talmage (Oak Ridge National Laboratory), Lisa Ingerman (SRC, Inc.), Chemical Manager Susan Ripple (National Advisory Committee [NAC] on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Hazardous Substances), and Ernest V. Falke (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). The NAC reviewed and revised the document and AEGLs as deemed necessary. Both the document and the AEGL values were then reviewed by the National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels. The NRC committee has concluded that the AEGLs developed in this document are scientifically valid conclusions based on the data reviewed by the NRC and are consistent with the NRC guidelines reports (NRC 1993, 2001).

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

AEGL-2 is the airborne concentration (expressed as ppm or mg/m3) of a substance above which it is predicted that the general population, including susceptible individuals, could experience irreversible or other serious, long-lasting adverse health effects or an impaired ability to escape.

AEGL-3 is the airborne concentration (expressed as ppm or mg/m3) of a substance above which it is predicted that the general population, including susceptible individuals, could experience life-threatening health effects or death.

Airborne concentrations below the AEGL-1 represent exposure concentrations that could produce mild and progressively increasing but transient and nondisabling odor, taste, and sensory irritation or certain asymptomatic, nonsensory effects. With increasing airborne concentrations above each AEGL, there is a progressive increase in the likelihood of occurrence and the severity of effects described for each corresponding AEGL. Although the AEGL values represent threshold concentrations for the general public, including susceptible subpopulations, such as infants, children, the elderly, persons with asthma, and those with other illnesses, it is recognized that individuals, subject to idiosyncratic responses, could experience the effects described at concentrations below the corresponding AEGL.

SUMMARY

Hydrogen bromide (HBr) is a colorless, corrosive, and non-flammable gas. HBr fumes strongly in moist air. It is one of the strongest mineral acids, with a reducing action stronger than that of hydrogen chloride (HCl). It is extremely soluble in water, forming a strong acid that is available as 48% or 68% solutions. HBr is used both as a reagent and as a catalyst in a variety of organic reactions; it is also used in the preparation of numerous bromide compounds. Anhydrous HBr is shipped in high-pressure steel cylinders.

HBr is a severe irritant to the eyes, skin, and nasal passages; high concentrations may penetrate to the lungs resulting in edema and hemorrhage. Data on irritant effects in humans and lethal and sublethal effects in rats and mice were available for developing AEGL values. Although the database for HBr is sparse, data on the toxicity of HBr relative to that of hydrogen fluoride (HF) and HCl were available for comparison purposes. The databases for HCl and HF are robust. On the basis of lethality data from studies of rats and mice, HF is more potent than HCl and HBr; HCl and HBr have similar potencies (MacEwen and Vernot 1972). At sublethal concentrations, the severity and extent of lesions to the upper respiratory tract were greatest for HF, followed by HCl and then HBr, although the severity and extent of lesions in the anterior most region of the respiratory tract were similar among the three chemicals (Kusewitt et al. 1989; Stavert et al. 1991). The data also show that all three chemicals are well scrubbed in the upper respiratory passages.

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

The AEGL-1 values for HBr are based on a study of six human volunteers exposed at 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 ppm for several minutes (CT Department of Health, unpublished data, 1955, as cited in ACGIH 2002). No nasal, throat, or ocular irritation was reported at 2 ppm. One subject reported nasal and throat irritation (severity not defined) but no ocular irritation at 3 ppm. Nasal irritation was reported by all six subjects at 5 and 6 ppm, but only one reported throat irritation and none reported ocular irritation. The concentration of 3 ppm was considered a no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) for notable discomfort. This point of departure was divided by an uncertainty factor of 3 to protect sensitive individuals; time-scaling was not performed, because irritation is concentration related and humans adapt to the slight sensory irritation that defines the AEGL-1. A concentration of 1.0 ppm across the AEGL exposure durations is supported by the AEGL-1 values for HF and HCl of 1.0 and 1.8 ppm, respectively (NRC 2004). The AEGL-1 value might be conservative, as only one of six subjects reported any sensory irritation and the value is the same as that of HF, a slightly more toxic chemical. It is also below the AEGL-1 value of 1.8 ppm for HCl, which was based on a no-effect concentration in exercising asthmatics.

There are limited data on AEGL-2 effects from exposure to HBr. Stavert et al. (1991) reported severe necrohemorrhagic rhinitis in rats exposed to HBr at 1,300 ppm for 30 min; however, 8% mortality was also reported at that concentration. In the absence of suitable data, the AEGL-3 values for HBr were divided by 3 to derive AEGL-2 values.

A BMCL05 (benchmark concentration, 95% lower confidence limit with 5% response) of 1,239 ppm was calculated from 1-h lethality data from studies of Sprague-Dawley rats exposed to HBr (MacEwen and Vernot 1972). The BMCL05 is an estimate of the threshold for lethality, and was used as the point of departure for calculating AEGL-3 values for HBr. A total uncertainty factor of 10 was applied: 3 for interspecies differences and 3 for human variability. Those individual factors are considered sufficient because the action of a direct-acting irritant is not expected to vary greatly among species or between individuals (NRC 2001). The 60-min point of departure was time-scaled to the other AEGL durations using the equation Cn × t = k. The value of n was 1, on the basis of data for the related compound HCl, for which regression analysis of combined rat and mouse LC50 (lethal concentration, 50% lethality) data resulted in a value of 1 for n (see NRC 2004).

The AEGL values for HBr are presented in Table 8-1.

1. INTRODUCTION

Hydrogen bromide (HBr) is a colorless nonflammable gas that fumes strongly in moist air. It is highly water soluble. HBr is one of the strongest mineral acids, with a reducing action stronger than that of hydrogen chloride (HCl) (Jackisch 1992). Chemical and physical properties for HBr are presented in Table 8-2.

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

TABLE 8-1 AEGL Values for Hydrogen Bromide

Classification 10 min 30 min 1 h 4 h 8 h End Point (Reference)
AEGL-1
(nondisabling)
1.0 ppm
(3.3 mg/m3)
1.0 ppm
(3.3 mg/m3)
1.0 ppm
(3.3 mg/m3)
1.0 ppm
(3.3 mg/m3)
1.0 ppm
(3.3 mg/m3)
Threshold for nasal irritation in humans (CT Department of Health, unpublished data 1955).
AEGL-2
(disabling)
250 ppm
(830 mg/m3)
83 ppm
(270 mg/m3)
40 ppm
(130 mg/m3)
10 ppm
(33 mg/m3)
5 ppm
(17 mg/m3)
One-third of AEGL-3 values.
AEGL-3
(lethal)
740 ppm
(2400 mg/m3)
250 ppm
(830 mg/m3)
120 ppm
(400 mg/m3)
31 ppm
(100 mg/m3)
15 ppm
(50 mg/m3)
Threshold for lethality in rats (MacEwen and Vernot 1972)

TABLE 8-2 Chemical and Physical Properties

Parameter Value Reference
Synonyms Anhydrous bromic acid, hydrobromic acid HSDB 2008
Chemical formula HBr HSDB 2008
Molecular weight 80.91 HSDB 2008
CAS registry no. 10035-10-6 HSDB 2008
Physical state Colorless gas HSDB 2008
Boiling point -67°C HSDB 2008
Melting point -87°C HSDB 2008
Density 3.307 g/L Jackisch 1992; HSDB 2008
Solubility in water Freely soluble 600:1 v:v, HBr to water HSDB 2008
Vapor density (air = 1) 2.71 HSDB 2008
Vapor pressure >760 torr at 20°C 335 psia at 21°C ACGIH 2004; Braker and Mossman 1980
Flammability limits Nonflammable Jackisch 1992; HSDB 2008
Conversion factors 1 ppm = 3.3 mg/m3 1 mg/m3 = 0.30 ppm NIOSH 2011

HBr is produced by burning a mixture of hydrogen and bromine vapor. Platinized asbestos or silica gel may be used as catalysts. The vapor is passed through hot, activated charcoal or iron to remove the free bromine. The vapor is then either liquefied by cooling for shipment in cylinders or is absorbed in water. Technical HBr, a colorless to light-yellow liquid, is available as 48% or 62% acids in drums, 15,140-L tank trailers, and 37,850-L tank cars. Anhydrous HBr is available in high-pressure steel cylinders (Braker and Mossman 1980; Jack-

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

isch 1992). HBr is used in the manufacture of organic and inorganic bromides, hydrobromic acid, as a reducing agent, as a catalyst in controlled oxidation reactions, in the alkylation of aromatic compounds, and in the isomerization of conjugated diolefins (O’Neil et al. 2006).

2. HUMAN TOXICITY DATA

2.1. Acute Lethality

No data on concentrations of HBr lethal to humans were found.

2.2. Nonlethal Toxicity

Amoore and Hautala (1983) reported an odor threshold of 2 ppm for HBr. HBr liquid and vapor are highly corrosive to tissues. Symptoms of over exposure include coughing, choking, burning in the throat, wheezing, and asphyxia. Skin contact may cause severe burns, and contact of the eyes with the liquid or vapor may result in permanent damage (Jackisch 1992).

One report by the Connecticut State Department of Health (unpublished data, 1955, as cited in ACGIH 20022) addressed responses of human subjects to HBr vapor. Six volunteers inhaled HBr at concentrations of 2-6 ppm for several minutes (Table 8-3). The odor was detected by all subjects at all concentrations. None of the subjects experienced ocular irritation. Only one subject experienced nasal and throat irritation at 3 ppm. One subject (presumably the same one) experienced throat irritation at all of the higher concentrations, and all subjects experienced nasal irritation at 5 and 6 ppm. Responses ranged from slight, stinging sensations to a definite feeling of irritation. Although exposure at 5 ppm caused nasal irritation in all of the subjects, the authors stated that “it was considered unlikely that noticeable disturbances will occur if peak concentrations do not exceed this value for brief periods.”

According to Braker and Mossman (1980), hydrogen halides at concentrations of approximately 35 ppm cause irritation of the throat after short exposures. Concentrations of 1,000-2,000 ppm are lethal to humans from brief exposures and concentrations of 1,000-1,300 ppm are dangerous if breathed for 30-60 min. Those data appear to be from the study by Henderson and Haggard (1943) and apply to HCl.

_____________________________

2A detailed description of this study was provided in ACGIH’s 2002 documentation of threshold limit values and biological exposure indices for HBr. In its update of the documentation in 2004, ACGIH omitted the study description and did not consider the data in its recommendations. The information from the study by the Connecticut Department of Health is retained here because it provides the only quantitative information on human exposure to HBr.

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

TABLE 8-3 Human Responses to Hydrogen Bromide Vapor

Number of Subjects (n = 6) Reporting Responses
Response 2 ppm 3 ppm 4 ppm 5 ppm 6 ppm
Detectable odor 6 6 6 6 6
Nasal irritation 0 1 3 6 6
Throat irritation 0 1 1 1 1
Ocular irritation 0 0 0 0 0

Source: Adapted from ACGIH 2002.

2.3. Neurotoxicity

No information on the neurotoxicity of HBr in humans was found.

2.4. Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity

No data on the developmental or reproductive effects of HBr in humans was found.

2.5. Genotoxicity

No data on the genotoxicity on HBr in humans was found.

2.6. Carcinogenicity

No data on the carcinogenicity of HBr in humans was found.

2.7. Summary

The only human data on HBr involved six volunteers exposed at 2-6 ppm for several minutes (CT Department of Health, unpublished data, 1955, as cited in ACGIH 2002). All six volunteers detected HBr at 2 ppm, and one individual experienced subjective irritation involving the nose and throat at 3 ppm. At higher concentrations, at least half of subjects experienced nasal and throat irritation. No information on neurotoxicity, developmental or reproductive effects, genotoxicity, or carcinogenicity of HBr was found.

3. ANIMAL TOXICITY DATA

3.1. Acute Lethality

3.1.1. Rats

As part of a series of inhalation toxicity studies performed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, MacEwen and Vernot (1972; also reported in Back et al. 1972 and Vernot et al. 1977) subjected groups of 10 male Sprague-Dawley-

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

derived rats to HBr at 2,205-3,822 ppm for 1 h (Table 8-4). Exposures took place in a modified Rochester chamber and concentrations were monitored with a bromide ion-specific electrode. The rats were monitored for mortality for 14 days. The 1-h LC50 was 2,858 ppm (95% confidence limits of 2,581-3,164 ppm) (Table 8-5). Responses of the animals during the exposures were dose-related and had the following a sequence: nasal and ocular irritation, labored breathing, gasping, and convulsions. The fur turned orange-brown during the exposures, and the color intensity was related to the concentration. The authors attributed a smoky haze around the animals during exposure to the reaction of HBr with the fur or moisture on the fur. During the 14-day postexposure period, the surviving animals were prostrate and most lost weight. Delayed deaths were observed. Burns accompanied by autolysis were observed on exposed areas of the skin. Rats exposed at the lowest concentration (2,205 ppm) returned to a normal weight gain by the end of the postexposure period. Gross examination at necropsy showed severe pulmonary and hepatic congestion and pulmonary edema in rats exposed at 3,822 ppm. The investigators noted that rats exposed at the lower concentration (not specified) had necrotic lesions on their feet and tails for up to 14 days. Opacity of the cornea, observed immediately following exposure, disappeared within 24 h.

Groups of 5-8 male Fischer 344 rats were exposed to HBr at approximately 1,300 ppm for 30 min (Stavert et al. 1991). Rats were placed into whole body flow plethysmographs to measure ventilatory rates. Body weight and respiratory-tract histology were investigated 24 h later. The mortality rate was 8% (Table 8-5). Rats exposed to HBr experienced an immediate and persistent drop in minute ventilatory rate of 25%. The effect on ventilatory rate was similar with HF exposure, whereas exposure to HCl caused a much smaller decrease in ventilation. A small (<10%) reduction in body weight compared to nonexposed rats occurred by 24 h postexposure.

TABLE 8-4 Results of One-Hour Inhalation Studies of Hydrogen Bromide in Rats and Mice

Species Concentration (ppm) Mortality Ratio
Rat 2,205 1/10
2,328 4/10
2,759 4/10
3,253 6/10
3,711 7/10
3,822 10/10
 
Mouse 507 0/10
875 7/10
1,036 9/10
1,163 10/10

Source: Adapted from MacEwen and Vernot 1972.

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

TABLE 8-5 Summary of Acute Lethality Data on Hydrogen Bromide in Rats and Mice

Species Concentration (ppm) Exposure Time Effect Reference
Rat 1,300 30 min 8% mortality Stavert et al. 1991
2,858 1 h LC50 MacEwen and Vernot 1972
Mouse 507 1 h No deaths MacEwen and Vernot 1972
814 1 h LC50

As part of the same study, Stavert et al. (1991) compared the toxicities of three hydrogen halides (HF, HCl, and HBr) in rats exposed at 1,300 ppm for 30 min. Mortalities were 0% for HF, 6% for HCl, and 8% for HBr. Damage to the respiratory tract was assessed 24 h after the exposure. For all three hydrogen halides, tissue injury was confined to the nasal cavity. Tissue injury in the anterior nasal cavity was similar for all three compounds and involved moderate to severe fibrinonecrotic rhinitis. The mucosa and submucosa were necrotic, with necrosis extending to the turbinate bone. Blood clots were observed in nasal blood vessels; hemorrhage, fibrin, and fluid were observed in the nasal passages; and polymorphonuclear cells were observed in the submucosa and in the lumen. The severity of these lesions is summarized in Table 8-6. Exposure to HBr resulted in bilateral or unilateral severe necrohemorrhagic rhinitis in the anterior quarter of the nasal cavity, and necrosis of the mucosa and submucosa that extended to the nasal turbinate bone. For HF and HCl, but not HBr, the lesions were also observed in the second anterior quarter of the nasal cavity. After exposure to all three halogen halides, the posterior half of the nasal cavity (including the ethmoid region) was essentially normal in appearance, showing that all three chemicals were well scrubbed. No pulmonary or tracheal injury was evident for any of the chemicals. The authors concluded that respiratory-tract injury caused by exposure to the three hydrogen halides was quantitatively similar. There was no change in pulmonary weight.

In the same study (Stavert et al. 1991), groups of male Fischer 344 rats were exposed to HBr at 1,300 ppm for 30 min via a tracheal cannula (to simulate mouth breathing). This procedure bypasses the scrubbing of the nasal passages. Within 24 h after exposure, 19% of the rats died. Mean pulmonary weight was not significantly different from that of noncannulated rats or of rats exposed to air. Pulmonary lesions observed in treated animals were not significantly different from those of the cannulated control group.

3.1.2. Mice

MacEwen and Vernot (1972) (see also Back et al. 1972) exposed groups of 10 CF1 (ICR-derived) mice (20-30 g) to HBr at concentrations ranging from 507 to 1,163 ppm for 1 h (Table 8-4). The LC50 was 814 ppm (95% confidence

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

limits of 701-947 ppm) (Table 8-5). Responses during exposure were the same as those described for rats (see Section 3.1.1). No deaths occurred in mice exposed at 507 ppm, and the mice had a normal weight gain during the 14-day recovery period. Mice surviving the 14-day postexposure period had necrotic lesions of their tails. No other gross pathologic changes were apparent in surviving mice.

3.2. Nonlethal Toxicity

As part of the Stavert et al. (1991) study, Kusewitt et al. (1989) reported on exposures to three hydrogen halides at lower concentrations. Fischer 344 rats (number not specified) were exposed to HF, HCl, or HBr at concentrations of 100-1,000 ppm for 30 min and were killed 8 and 24 h later. Tissue damage was restricted to the nasal region and consisted of necrosis and inflammation; the severity of the damage increased with concentration. HF was the most toxic, and that the toxicities of HCl and HBr were similar. Histopathologic examinations and gravimetric measurements revealed no damage to the lungs. No further details were reported in the available abstract.

Toxicity data on the related chemical, HCl, are relevant to evaluating the toxicity of HBr. In a study in which the ventilatory rate of rats exposed to HCl at 1,000 ppm for 30 min was increased by the addition of CO2 to the exposure chamber, no deaths occurred and histopathologic lesions were confined to the upper respiratory tract and (Lehnert and Stavert 1991). Barrow et al. (1977) exposed groups of four male Swiss-Webster mice to HCl at concentrations of 40, 99, 245, 440, or 943 ppm for 10 min. An RD50 (a 50% decrease in the respiratory rate) of 309 ppm was calculated. At 99 ppm, approximately one-third of the RD50, the decrease in respiratory rate was 25-30%. Additional studies summarized in NRC (2004) showed that primates were less sensitive to the toxic effects of HCl than rodents.

TABLE 8-6 Severity of Lesions in the Anterior Region of the Nasal Cavity of Rats Following Exposure to Hydrogen Fluoride, Hydrogen Chloride, or Hydrogen Bromide at 1,300 ppm for 30 Minutes

Necrotic Lesion HF HCl HBr
Epithelial 3.3a 3.8a 3.3a
Submucosal 2.6a 3.0a 2.6a
Bone 0.3 2.4a 1.6a
Gland 1.8a 2.4a 1.4a

Severity index: 1 = mild, 2 = moderate, 3 = severe, and 4 = very severe (n = 8).

aStatistically significant compared to air-exposed controls, p < 0.05. Source: Adapted from Stavert et al. 1991.

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

3.3. Neurotoxicity

No information on the neurotoxicity of HBr in animals was found.

3.4. Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity

No information on the developmental or reproductive effects of HBr in animals was found.

3.5. Genotoxicity

No information on the genotoxicity of HBr in animals was found.

3.6. Chronic Toxicity and Carcinogenicity

No information on the chronic toxicity or carcinogenicity of HBr in animals was found.

3.7. Summary

Two studies of HBr in animals were available. In the first study (MacEwen and Vernot 1972), groups of rats and mice were exposed by inhalation to a range of concentrations for 1 h. The 1-h LC50 value was 2,858 in rats and 814 ppm in mice. All tested concentrations resulted in lethality in rats during the 14-day postexposure period. No deaths occurred in mice exposed at 507 ppm for 1 h. In rats exposed at 1,300 ppm for 30 min, mortality was 8% (presumably one of 12 rats) and lesions were confined to the anterior nasal passages (Stavert et al. 1991). Nasal lesions were also observed in rats exposed at up to 1,000 ppm for 30 min (Kusewitt et al. 1989). Animals in the Kusewitt et al. (1989) and Stavert et al. (1991) studies were killed 24 h after exposure. Only one of 10 rats exposed at 2,205 ppm died in the MacEwen and Vernot (1972) study.

4. SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

4.1. Metabolism and Disposition

No data on the metabolism and deposition of HBr were found. Data on soluble bromides are available from their medical use as oral sedatives, diuretics, and antiepileptics. An oral dose of 3 g (30-60 mg/kg for an adult) is considered a “no-ill effect” dose (Teitelbaum 2001).

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

4.2. Mechanism of Toxicity

The available studies indicate that the hydrogen halides are severe irritants to the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract, particularly the anterior nasal passages where, depending on concentration, they appear to be effectively scrubbed from the inhaled air. For HBr, deposition in the anterior nasal passages may be attributed to its high solubility and reactivity. At high concentrations (e.g., 3,822 ppm for 1 h), penetration into the lungs occurs as evidenced by pulmonary hemorrhage, edema, and death. Although HBr is absorbed, serious systemic effects are unlikely to occur at concentrations below those that would cause serious respiratory effects. In the studies summarized in Tables 8-4 and 8-5, the tissues of the respiratory tract and exposed dermal surfaces sustained the impact of an acute exposure. Therefore, the concentration of HBr in the inhaled air and not the absorbed dose is the primary determinant of the effects from acute exposures.

4.3. Structure-Activity Relationships

Differences in size and electron configuration of the various halogen atoms result in substantial differences with respect to their chemical and physical properties, which in turn affect their toxicologic properties. The atomic weights of fluorine, chlorine, bromine, and iodine are 19, 35.5, 80, and 127, respectively.

Data on the relative toxicities of HF, HCl, and HBr on the basis of lethality are available. As can be seen from the data in Table 8-7, three rodent studies using different exposure durations show that HF is more lethal than HCl (Rosenholtz et al. 1963; Higgins et al. 1972; MacEwen and Vernot 1972; Wohlslagel et al. 1976). For both the rat and mouse, HF is also more lethal than HBr (MacEwen and Vernot 1972). Data from the same laboratory (Wohlslagel et al. 1976; MacEwen and Vernot 1972) show that HCl and HBr have similar 1-h LC50 values of 3,124 and 2,858 ppm, respectively. Data on the nonlethal toxicity of the three hydrogen halides (Stavert et al. 1991) suggest that HF, HCl, and HBr are similarly toxic to the nasal cavity following acute exposure. HBr and HF exposure resulted in similar decreases (by about 25%) in the ventilation rate of cannulated rats (simulation of mouth breathing), whereas the decrease associated with HCl exposure was smaller (Stavert et al. 1991).

4.4. Other Relevant Information

4.4.1. Species Variability

HBr toxicity data, available for only the rat and mouse, showed that mice are more susceptible than rats. However, when considering lethal concentrations of respiratory irritants (such as HCl), the mouse “may not be an appropriate model for extrapolation to humans,” because “mice appear to be much more

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

TABLE 8-7 Relative Toxicities of Hydrogen Fluoride, Hydrogen Chloride, and Hydrogen Bromide

Species Exposure Duration LC50 Values (ppm)
HF HCl HBr Reference
Rat 5 min 18,200 41,000 Higgins et al. 1972
Mouse 5 min 6,247 13,750
Rat 30 min 2,042 4,700 Rosenholtz et al. 1963; MacEwen and Vernot 1972
Mouse 30 min 2,644 MacEwen and Vernot 1972
Rat 1 h 1,395 3,124 Wohlslagel et al. 1976
Mouse 1 h 342 1,108
Monkey 1 h 1,774 MacEwen and Vernot 1970
Rat 1 h 1,278 2,858 MacEwen and Vernot 1972
Mouse 1 h 501 814 MacEwen and Vernot 1972

The data of Wohlslagel et al. (1976) and MacEwen and Vernot (1972) were generated in the same laboratory. Therefore, the values for HCl (Wohlslagel et al. 1976) can be compared with those for HF and HBr (MacEwen and Vernot 1972).

susceptible to the lethal effects of HCl than other rodents or baboons. To some extent, this increased susceptibility may be due to less effective scrubbing of HCl in the upper respiratory tract” (NRC 1991). The same principle reasonably holds true for HF and HBr. The respiratory rate of mice is also higher than that of rats. The data in Table 8-7 show species that mice are the most susceptibile to HF, followed by the rat and nonhuman primate (rhesus monkey).

4.4.2. Susceptible Populations

Individuals with asthma may respond to exposure to respiratory irritants, such as HBr, with increased bronchial responsiveness. No information on the relative susceptibility of asthmatic and normal individuals to HBr was found. In a study with HCl, exposure at1.8 ppm for 45 min was a no-effect level for exercising asthmatics (Stevens et al. 1992).

Individuals under stress, such as those involved in emergency situations and individuals engaged in physical activity, will likely experience increased penetration of HBr into the lower respiratory tract due to increased minute volumes, with the potential for increased irritant response, as compared to individuals at rest.

4.4.3. Concentration-Exposure Duration Relationship

No information on the relationship between concentration and exposure for a single end point was found. When no data are available, time scaling is

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

based on the equation Cn × t = k, with default values of n = 3 for extrapolation to shorter exposure durations and n = 1 for extrapolation to longer exposure durations (NRC 2001). However, information on relevant chemicals HF and HCl are available. On the basis of lethality data, the n values for time scaling was 2 for HF and 1 for HCl (NRC 2004). HBr is more similar chemically to HCl than HF.

4.4.4. Concurrent Exposure Issues

No information on concurrent exposure issues for HBr was found.

5. DATA ANALYSIS FOR AEGL-1

5.1. Human Data Relevant to AEGL-1

Reliable human data on HBr are available from a study of six volunteers exposed at 2-6 ppm for several minutes (CT Department of Health, unpublished data, 1955, as cited in ACGIH 2002). Nasal irritation was reported by 0, 1, 3, 6, and 6 individuals at 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 ppm, respectively. Throat irritation did not appear to be concentration dependent and no ocular irritation was reported. Therefore, the threshold for subjective nasal irritation is 3 ppm.

5.2. Animal Data Relevant to AEGL-1

No data on HBr relevant to notable discomfort in animals was found.

5.3. Derivation of AEGL-1 Values

The threshold for nasal irritation of 3ppm in human subjects exposed to HBr for several minutes (CT Department of Health, unpublished data, 1955, as cited in ACGIH 2002) was selected as the basis for the AEGL-1 values. That concentration was considered to be a threshold for notable discomfort, as only one individual was affected at that concentration. The 3 ppm point-of-departure was divided by an intraspecies uncertainty factor of 3, because response to sensory irritation is not expected to vary greatly among individuals (NRC 2001). A factor of 3 was considered sufficient because the effect of slight irritation is below the definition of AEGL-1. In addition, an intraspecies uncertainty factor of 3 was used to derive AEGL values for the related compounds HCl and HF, which have the same mode of action as HBr (NRC 2004). It is reasonable to use the same uncertainty factors for a class of chemicals whose mode of action is the same. Finally, the uncertainty factor used to derive the AEGL-1 values for HBr is believed to be protective of asthmatic individuals on the basis of comparison of the AEGL-1 value for HBr (1.0 ppm) with the AEGL-1 value for HCl (1.8

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

ppm); the latter is based on a no-effect level for irritation in exercising asthmatics. There is evidence that HBr is of similar toxicity to HCl; thus, the lower AEGL-1 values for HBr are considered to be protective of asthmatics on the basis of data on HCl.

Because irritation depends on concentration rather than time, and adaptation to slight irritation occurs (Dalton 2001), 1.0 ppm was used for all of the AEGL-1 exposure durations (see Table 8-8). Derivation of the AEGL-1 values for HBr are presented in Appendixes A and D, and a category plot of the toxicity data for HBr in relation to AEGL values is presented in Appendix B.

Although the AEGL-1 values for HBr are based on data presented in a secondary source, the values obtained from the data are supported by comparison with the related compounds HF and HCl. The AEGL-1 values for HF (1.0 ppm) and HCl (1.8 ppm) are equal to or higher than the values obtained for HBr using data from Connecticut State Department of Health (unpublished data, 1955, as cited in ACGIH 2002). Thus, if AEGL-1 values for HBr were obtained by analogy to these related compounds, the same or higher AEGL-1 values would be derived.

6. DATA ANALYSIS FOR AEGL-2

6.1. Human Data Relevant to AEGL-2

No human data on HBr relevant to development of AEGL-2 values were found.

6.2. Animal Data Relevant to AEGL-2

The only study of HBr that addresses effects that meet the definition of an AEGL-2 was a study on hydrogen halides by Stavert et al. (1991). Following inhalation of HBr, HCl, or HF at 1,300 ppm for 30 min, male F-344 rats exhibited severe necrotic lesions of the anterior nasal passages and 8% of the rats died (Stavert et al. 1991). Lesions consisting of necrosis and inflammation were restricted to the nasal region; the lungs appeared unaffected. Rats were killed 24 h after exposure and no judgment could be made about whether the lesions were reversible. The authors noted that the nasal lesions were similar in severity and location for all three hydrogen halides when tested at the same concentration.

6.3. Derivation of AEGL-2 Values

The Stavert et al. (1991) study was not considered a suitable basis for derivation of AEGL-2 values because 8% of the animals died after exposure to HBr at 1,300 ppm. Additionally, the study only tested a single concentration and the number of animals tested was not specified. In the absence of suitable data, the AEGL-3 values for HBr were divided by 3 to estimate AEGL-2 values. This approach is supported by the steep concentration-response curve demonstrated in the MacEwen and Vernot (1972) lethality studies. The AEGL-2 values for HBr are presented in Table 8-9, and the calculations are presented in Appendixes A and D. A category plot of the toxicity data on HBr in relation to AEGL values is presented in Appendix B.

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

TABLE 8-8 AEGL-1 Values for Hydrogen Bromide

10 min 30 min 1 h 4 h 8 h
1.0 ppm
(3.3 mg/m3)
1.0 ppm
(3.3 mg/m3)
1.0 ppm
(3.3 mg/m3)
1.0 ppm
(3.3 mg/m3)
1.0 ppm
(3.3 mg/m3)

7. DATA ANALYSIS FOR AEGL-3

7.1. Human Data Relevant to AEGL-3

No human data on HBr relevant to development of AEGL-3 values were found.

7.2. Animal Data Relevant to AEGL-3

Lethality data on HBr were available for the rat and mouse. One-hour LC50 values for the rat and mouse were 2,858 and 814 ppm, respectively (MacEwen and Vernot 1972). The data are summarized in Table 8-4. A 30-min exposure to HBr at 1,300 ppm resulted in 8% mortality in rats (Stavert et al. 1991). From the MacEwen and Vernot study in the rat, a 1-h LC01 of 1,350 ppm was calculated by probit analysis. The BMCL05 was 1,239 ppm (see Appendix C) and the BMC01 was 1,456 ppm (data not shown). No deaths occurred in rats exposed at 1,000 ppm for 30 min (Kusewitt et al. 1989) or in mice exposed at 507 ppm for 1 h (MacEwen and Vernot 1972). As noted in Section 4.4.1 (Species Variability), mice are not considered an appropriate species for setting lethality values for hydrogen halides, because mice are more susceptible to the lethal effects of HCl than rats or non-human primates (NRC 1991).

7.3. Derivation of AEGL-3 Values

The BMCL05 of 1,239 ppm, calculated from 1-h lethality data from studies in Sprague-Dawley rats exposed to HBr (MacEwen and Vernot 1972), is an estimate of the threshold for lethality and was selected as the point of departure to develop AEGL-3 values for HBr. This value was more conservative than the BMC01 of 1,456 ppm calculated from the same data. A total uncertainty factor of 10 was applied: 3 for interspecies differences and 3 for intraspecies variability.

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

TABLE 8-9 AEGL-2 Values for Hydrogen Bromide

10 min 30 min 1 h 4 h 8 h
250 ppm
(830 mg/m3)
83 ppm
(270 mg/m3)
40 ppm
(130 mg/m3)
10 ppm
(33 mg/m3)
5 ppm
(17 mg/m3)

The individual factors are considered to be sufficient because the action of a direct-acting irritant is not expected to vary greatly among species or between individuals (NRC 2001).

The 60-min point of departure was time-scaled to the other AEGL-3 durations using the equation Cn × t = k. The value of n was 1, on the basis of data on the related compound HCl, for which regression analysis of combined LC50 data from rats and mice resulted in an estimate of n = 1 (see NRC 2004). The AEGL-3 values for HBr are presented in Table 8-10. The use of the BMCL05 as the point-of-departure for the AEGL-3 values is supported by the finding that the point-of-departure for the 30-min AEGL-3 is an estimate of the threshold for lethality of 155 ppm and is approximately 10-fold lower than the concentration which resulted in 8% mortality (1,300 ppm) (Stavert et al. 1991). The AEGL-3 calculations are presented in Appendices A and D, and a category plot of the toxicity data on HBr in relation to the AEGL values is presented in Appendix B.

8. SUMMARY OF AEGLS

8.1. AEGL Values and Toxicity End Points

The AEGL values for HBr are presented in Table 8-11. The AEGL-1 values were based on the concentration that did not result in nasal irritation in subjects exposed to HBr for several minutes. AEGL-2 values were derived by taking one-third the AEGL-3 values, and the AEGL-3 values were based on the BMCL05 estimated from rat lethality data.

A comparison of the AEGL values for HBr, HCl, and HF is presented in Table 8-12. The AEGL-1 values for the three hydrogen halides are similar, as are the longer-term AEGL-2 values. The AEGL-3 values for HBr and HCl are similar and the HF values are generally lower; this is consistent with the findings presented in Table 8-7, which showed that lethality was observed at lower concentrations of HF, as compared to HBr and HCl.

8.2. Comparison with Other Standards and Guidelines

Other standards and guidelines for HBr are presented in Table 8-13. Except for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s permissible exposure limit, ceiling or peak limits rather than 8-h time-weighted averages (TWA) have been derived for the workplace. The AEGL-1 for HBr is below the workplace guidelines. The immediately dangerous to life or health (ILDH) value is

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

based on analogy with HCl (NIOSH 1994). The IDLH for HCl is 50 ppm which is 10 times the recommended exposure limit (REL) of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Therefore, the IDLH for HBr was set at 10 times the NIOSH REL of 3 ppm. The 30-min AEGL-2 is similar to the IDLH.

TABLE 8-10 AEGL-3 Values for Hydrogen Bromide

10 min 30 min 1 h 4 h 8 h
740 ppm
(2,400 mg/m3)
250 ppm
(830 mg/m3)
120 ppm
(400 mg/m3)
31 ppm
(100 mg/m3)
15 ppm
(50 mg/m3)

TABLE 8-11 AEGL Values for Hydrogen Bromide

Classification Exposure Duration
10 min 30 min 1 h 4 h 8 h
AEGL-1
(nondisabling)
1.0 ppm 1.0 ppm 1.0 ppm 1.0 ppm 1.0 ppm
AEGL-2
(disabling)
250 ppm 83 ppm 40 ppm 10 ppm 5 ppm
AEGL-3
(lethal)
740 ppm 250 ppm 120 ppm 31 ppm 15 ppm

TABLE 8-12 AEGL Values for Hydrogen Bromide, Hydrogen Chloride, and Hydrogen Fluoride (ppm)

Classification 10 min 30 min 1 h 4 h 8 h
AEGL-1
HBr 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
HCl 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.8
HF 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
AEG-2

HBr

250 83 40 10 5

HCl

100 43 22 11 11

HF

95 34 24 12 12
AEGL-3

HBr

740 250 120 31 15

HCl

620 210 100 26 26

HF

170 62 44 22 22

Source of the HCl and HF values: NRC 2004.

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

TABLE 8-13 Standards and Guidelines for Hydrogen Bromide

Guideline Exposure Duration
10 min 30 min 1 h 4 h 8 h
AEGL-1 1.0 ppm 1.0 ppm 1.0 ppm 1.0 ppm 1.0 ppm
AEGL-2 250 ppm 83 ppm 40 ppm 10 ppm 5 ppm
AEGL-3 740 ppm 250 ppm 120 ppm 31 ppm 15 ppm
IDLH (NIOSH)b 30 ppm
PEL-TWA (OSHA)b 3 ppm
TLV-C (ACGIH)c 2 ppm 2 ppm 2 ppm 2 ppm 2 ppm
REL-C (NIOSH)d 3 ppm 3 ppm 3 ppm 3 ppm 3 ppm
MAK peak limit (Germany)e 2 ppm (15 min, 4 times/shift)

aIDLH (immediately dangerous to life or health, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) (NIOSH 1994) represents the maximum concentration from which one could escape within 30 min without any escape-impairing symptoms or any irreversible health effects.

bPEL-TWA (permissible exposure limits – time-weighted average, Occupational Health and Safety Administration) (29CFR 1910.1045 [2006]) is defined analogous to the ACGIH TLV-TWA, but is for exposures of no more than 10 h/day, 40 h/wk.

cTLV-C (threshold limit value – ceiling, American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists) (ACGIH 2012) is a limit that should not be exceeded during the working day.

dREL-C(recommended exposure limit – ceiling, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) (NIOSH 2011) is defined analogous to the ACGIH TLV-ceiling.

eMAK Spitzenbegrenzung (peak limit) (German Research Association (DFG 1999) constitutes the maximum average concentration to which workers can be exposed for a period of 15 min with no more than four excursions per work shift and with an interval of 1 h between excursions.

8.3. Data Adequacy and Research Needs

Only one study of human subjects was available for development of AEGL-1 values (CT Department of Health, unpublished data, 1955, as cited in ACGIH 2002). The study was unpublished and available only in a secondary source. Although the study used short exposure durations, an adequate number of subjects was used, a range of concentrations was tested, and irritant levels were clearly described. Animal data on HBr were available from studies of two species, the rat and mouse. The well-conducted studies with rats from two different laboratories (MacEwen and Vernot 1972; Stavert et al. 1991) had reasonable agreement in results. Those studies also addressed the relative toxicities of HBr, HF, and HCl in the rat. Although the data on HBr were sparse, supporting information on related hydrogen halides and information on relative toxicity are

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

available; thus, the data were considered adequate to derive AEGL-1 and 3 values for HBr. The database was not considered suitable for AEGL-2 values; the AEGL-3 values were divided by 3 to derive AEGL-2 values for HBr.

9. REFERENCES

ACGIH (American Conference of Government and Industrial Hygienists). 2002. Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) for Chemical and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs): Hydrogen Bromide. American Conference of Government and Industrial Hygienists, Cincinnati, OH.

ACGIH (American Conference of Government and Industrial Hygienists). 2004. Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values for Chemical and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs): Hydrogen Bromide. American Conference of Government and Industrial Hygienists, Cincinnati, OH.

ACGIH (American Conference of Government and Industrial Hygienists). 2012. Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) Based on the Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values for Chemical and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices. American Conference of Government and Industrial Hygienists, Cincinnati, OH.

Amoore, J.E., and E. Hautala. 1983. Odor as an aid to chemical safety: Odor thresholds compared with threshold limit values and volatilities for 214 industrial chemicals in air and water dilution. J. Appl. Toxicol. 3(6):272-289.

Back, K.C., A.A. Thomas, and J.D. MacEwen. 1972. Reclassification of Materials Listed as Transportation Health Hazards. Report No. TSA-20-72-3. Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, OH.

Barrow, C.S., Y. Alarie, M. Warrick, and M.F. Stock. 1977. Comparison of the sensory irritation response in mice to chlorine and hydrogen chloride. Arch. Environ. Health. 32(2):68-76.

Braker, W., and A.L. Mossman. 1980. Matheson Gas Data Book, 6th Ed. Lyndhurst, NJ: Matheson.

Dalton, P. 2001. Evaluating the human response to sensory irritation: Implications for setting occupational exposure limits. Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J. 62(6):723-729.

DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft). 1999. List of MAK and BAT Values, 1999. Maximum Concentrations and Biological Tolerance Value at the Workplace Report No. 35. Weinheim, Federal Republic of Germany: Wiley-VCH.

Henderson, Y., and H.W. Haggard. 1943. Hydrochloric acid (Hydrogen chloride). P. 126-127 in Noxious Gases and the Principles of Respiration Influencing Their Action, 2nd Rev. Ed. New York: Reinhold Publishing.

Higgins, E.A., V. Fiorca, A.A. Thomas, and H.V. Davis. 1972. Acute toxicity of brief exposures to HF, HCl, NO2 and HCN with and without CO. Fire Technol. 8(2):120-130.

HSDB (Hazardous Substances Data Base). 2008. Hydrogen bromide. TOXNET, Specialized Information Services, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD [online]. Available: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov [accessed Jan. 10, 2013].

Jackisch, P.F. 1992. Bromine compounds. Pp. 536-560 in Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, 4th Ed., Vol. 4. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Kusewitt, D.F., D.M. Stavert, G. Ripple, T. Mundie, and B.E. Lehnert. 1989. Relative acute toxicities in the respiratory tract of inhaled hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen bromide, and hydrogen chloride. Toxicologist 9:36 [Abstract No. 144].

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

Lehnert, B.E., and D.M. Stavert. 1991. The Acute Inhalation Toxicity of Pyrolysis Products of Halon 1301. Annual Report. AD-A246 031. Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM.

MacEwen, J.D., and E.H. Vernot. 1970. Toxic Hazards Research Unit Annual Technical Report: 1970. AMRL-TR-70-77, AD 714694. Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH [online]. Available: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/714694.pdf online]. [accessed Apr. 5, 2014].

MacEwen, J.D., and E.H. Vernot. 1972. Toxic Hazards Research Unit Annual Technical Report: 1972. AMRL-TR-72-62, AD 755 358. Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH [online]. Available: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/755358.pdf [accessed Apr.5, 2014].

NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health). 1994. Documentation for Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLHs): Hydrogen bromide. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health [online]. Available: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/idlh/10035106.html [accessed Apr. 5, 2014].

NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health). 2011. NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Hydrogen bromide. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health [online]. Available: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npg/npgd0331.html [accessed Apr. 5, 2014].

NRC (National Research Council). 1991. Hydrogen chloride. Pp. 37-52 in Permissible Exposure Levels and Emergency Exposure Guidance Levels for Selected Airborne Contaminants. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

NRC (National Research Council). 1993. Guidelines for Developing Community Emergency Exposure Levels for Hazardous Substances. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

NRC (National Research Council). 2001. Standing Operating Procedures for Developing Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Hazardous Chemicals. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

NRC (National Research Council). 2004. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals, Vol. 4. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

O’Neil, M.J., A. Smith, and P.E. Heckelman, eds. 2006. Hydrogen bromide. P. 829 in The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals, 14th ed. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck.

Rosenholtz, M.J., T.R. Carson, M.H. Weeks, F. Wilinski, D.F. Ford, and F.W. Oberst. 1963. A toxicopathologic study in animals after brief single exposures to hydrogen fluoride. Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J. 24(3):253-261.

Stavert, D.M., D.C. Archuleta, M.J. Behr, and B.E. Lehnert. 1991. Relative acute toxicities of hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen chloride, and hydrogen bromide in nose- and pseudomouth-breathing rats. Fundam. Appl. Toxicol. 16(4):636-655.

Stevens, B. J.Q. Koenig, V. Rebolledo, Q.S. Hanley, and D.S. Covert. 1992. Respiratory effects from the inhalation of hydrogen chloride in young adult asthmatics. J. Occup. Med. 34(9):923-929.

Teitelbaum, D.T. 2001. The halogens. Pp. 731-825 in Patty’s Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology, 5th Ed., Vol. 3. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Vernot, E.H., J.D. MacEwen, C.C. Haun and E.R. Kinkead. 1977. Acute toxicity and skin corrosion data for some organic and inorganic compounds and aqueous solutions. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 42:417-423.

Wohlslagel, J., L.C. DiPasquale and E.H. Vernot. 1976. Toxicity of solid rocket motor exhaust: effects of HCl, HF, and alumina on rodents. J. Combust. Toxicol. 3:61-69.

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

APPENDIX A

DERIVATION OF AEGL VALUES FOR HYDROGEN BROMIDE

Derivation of AEGL-1 Values

Key study: CT Department of Health, unpublished data (1955, as cited in ACGIH 2002)
 
Toxicity end point: Nasal and throat irritation in one of six subjects to HBr at 3 ppm for several minutes
 
Time scaling: No time scaling, because there is adaptation to slight irritation.
 
Uncertainty factors: 3 for intraspecies variability; irritation from a direct-contact irritant should not vary greatly among individuals (NRC 2001).
 
Calculation: 3 ppm ÷ 3 = 1.0 ppm (applied to all AEGL durations)

Derivation of AEGL-2 Values

Because data on HBr were inadequate, AEGL-2 values were derived by taking one-third of the respective AEGL-3 values.

Calculations:

10-min AEGL-2: 740 ppm ÷ 3 = 250 ppm
 
30-min AEGL-2: 250 ppm ÷ 3 = 83 ppm
 
1-h AEGL-2: 110 ppm ÷ 3 = 40 ppm
 
4-h AEGL-2: 31 ppm ÷ 3 = 10 ppm
 
8-h AEGL-2: 15 ppm ÷ 3 = 5 ppm

Derivation of AEGL-3 Values

Key study: MacEwen and Vernot (1972)
 
Toxicity end point: Lethality in rats exposed for 1 h, BMCL05 of 1,238.95 ppm.
Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×
Time scaling: Cn × t = k; n = 1 on the basis of lethality data on HCl in rats
(1,238.95 ppm ÷ 10) × 60 min = 7,433.7 ppm-min
 
Uncertainty factors: 3 for interspecies differences; a direct-contact irritant is not expected to vary greatly between species (NRC 2001)
3 for intraspecies variability; response to a direct-contact irritant is not expected to vary greatly among humans (NRC 2001)
 
Calculations:
 
10-min AEGL-3: 7,433.7 ppm-min ÷ 10 min = 740 ppm
 
30-min AEGL-3: 7,433.7 ppm-min ÷ 30 min = 250 ppm
 
1-h AEGL-3: 7,433.7 ppm-min ÷ 60 min = 120 ppm
 
4-h AEGL-3: 7,433.7 ppm-min ÷ 240 min = 31 ppm
 
8-hAEGL-3: 7,433.7 ppm-min ÷ 480 min = 15 ppm
Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

APPENDIX B

CATEGORY PLOT FOR HYDROGEN BROMIDE

image

FIGURE B-1 Category plot of toxicity data and AEGL values for hydrogen bromide.

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

TABLE B-1 Data Used in the Category Plot for Hydrogen Bromide

Source Species ppm Minutes Category
AEGL-1 1.0 10 AEGL
AEGL-1 1.0 30 AEGL
AEGL-1 1.0 60 AEGL
AEGL-1 1.0 240 AEGL
AEGL-1 1.0 480 AEGL
AEGL-2 250 10 AEGL
AEGL-2 83 30 AEGL
AEGL-2 40 60 AEGL
AEGL-2 10 240 AEGL
AEGL-2 5 480 AEGL
AEGL-3 740 10 AEGL
AEGL-3 250 30 AEGL
AEGL-3 120 60 AEGL
AEGL-3 31 240 AEGL
AEGL-3 15 480 AEGL
CT State Dept. Health 1955 Human 2 5 0, no irritation
CT State Dept. Health 1955 Human 3 5 1, nasal and throat irritation, 1 subject
CT State Dept. Health 1955 Human 4 5 1, nasal and throat irritation, 3 subjects
Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×
CT State Dept. Health 1955 Human 5 5 1, nasal and throat irritation, 6 subjects
CT State Dept. Health 1955 Human 6 5 1, nasal and throat irritation, 6 subjects
MacEwen and Vernot 1972 Rat 2,205 60 SL, 10% mortality
MacEwen and Vernot 1972 Rat 2,328 60 SL, 40% mortality
MacEwen and Vernot 1972 Rat 2,759 60 SL, 40% mortality
MacEwen and Vernot 1972 Rat 3,253 60 SL, 60% mortality
MacEwen and Vernot 1972 Rat 3,711 60 SL, 70% mortality
MacEwen and Vernot 1972 Rat 3,822 60 3, 100% mortality
MacEwen and Vernot 1972 Mouse 507 60 2, no mortality
MacEwen and Vernot 1972 Mouse 875 60 SL, 70% mortality
MacEwen and Vernot 1972 Mouse 1,036 60 SL, 90% mortality
MacEwen and Vernot 1972 Mouse 1,163 60 3, 100% mortality
Stavert et al. 1991 Rat 1,300 30 SL, 8% mortality

For category 0 = no effect, 1 = discomfort, 2 = disabling, SL = some lethality, 3 = lethal

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

APPENDIX C

BENCHMARK CONCENTRATION CALCULATION

Hydrogen bromide BMCL05

Probit Model. (Version: 2.8; Date: 02/20/2007)
Input Data File: C:\BMDS\HBR05.(d)
Gnuplot Plotting File: C:\BMDS\HBR05.plt
Mon Dec 17 11:29:37 2007
BMDS MODEL RUN

The form of the probability function is:

P[response] = Background + (1-Background) * CumNorm(Intercept + Slope*Log

(Dose), where CumNorm(.) is the cumulative normal distribution function

Dependent variable = COLUMN3

Independent variable = COLUMN1

Slope parameter is not restricted

Total number of observations = 7

Total number of records with missing values = 0

Maximum number of iterations = 250

Relative Function Convergence has been set to: 1e-008

Parameter Convergence has been set to: 1e-008

User has chosen the log transformed model

Default Initial (and Specified) Parameter Values

background = 0

intercept = -29.967

slope = 3.76563

Asymptotic Correlation Matrix of Parameter Estimates

(***The model parameter(s) - background have been estimated at a boundary point, or have been specified by the user, and do not appear in the correlation matrix.)

Intercept Slope
Intercept 1 -1
Slope -1 1

Analysis of Deviance Table

Model Log (likelihood) No. Parameters Deviance Test Test d.f. P-value
Full model -29.5498 7
Fitted model -32.7425 2 6.38533 5 0.2705
Reduced model -48.2628 1 37.426 6 <.0001

AIC: 69.485

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×

Parameter Estimates

95.0% Wald Confidence Interval
Variable Estimate Standard Error Lower Conf. Limit Upper Conf. Limit
Background 0 NA
Intercept -27.4619 7.00164 -41.1848 -13.7389
Slope 3.45097 0.877253 1.73158 5.17035

NA: Indicates that this parameter has hit a bound implied by some inequality constraint and thus has no standard error.

Goodness of Fit

Scaled
Dose Estimated Probability Expected Observed Size Residual
0.0000 0.0000 0.000 0 10 0.000
2205.0000 0.1855 1.855 1 10 -0.696
2328.0000 0.2397 2.397 4 10 1.188
2759.0000 0.4518 4.518 4 10 -0.329
3253.0000 0.6727 6.727 6 10 -0.490
3711.0000 0.8164 8.164 7 10 -0.951
3822.0000 0.8422 8.422 10 10 1.369

Chi Sq. = 5.02; DF = 5; P-value = 0.4134

Benchmark Dose Computation

Specified effect = 0.05

Risk Type = Extra risk

Confidence level = 0.95

BMC = 1774.18

BMCL05 = 1238.95

image

FIGURE C-1 Probit model with 0.95 confidence level.

Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
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APPENDIX D

ACUTE EXPOSURE GUIDELINE LEVELS FOR HYDROGEN BROMIDE

Derivation Summary

AEGL-1 VALUES

10 min 30 min 1 h 4 h 8 h
1.0 ppm 1.0 ppm 1.0 ppm 1.0 ppm 1.0 ppm
Key reference: Connecticut State Department of Health. 1955. Unpublished data.
Occupational Health Section, CT Department of Health, Hartford, CT (as cited in ACGIH 2002)
Test species/Strain/Number: Humans, six subjects
Exposure route/Concentrations/Durations: Inhalation; 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 ppm for several minutes
Effects: Odor detectable for all six subjects at all concentrations
2 ppm: No nasal, throat, or ocular irritation.
3 ppm: Nasal and throat irritation in one of six subjects; no ocular irritation.
4 ppm: Nasal irritation in three of six subjects; throat irritation in one of six subjects; no ocular irritation.
5 ppm: Nasal irritation in all six subjects; throat irritation in one of six subjects; no ocular irritation.
6 ppm: Nasal irritation in all six subjects; throat irritation in one of six subjects; no ocular irritation.6 ppm: Nasal irritation in all six subjects; throat irritation in one of six subjects; no ocular irritation.
End point/Concentration/Rationale: 3 ppm is considered a threshold for notable discomfort
Uncertainty factors/Rationale:
Total uncertainty factor: 3
Interspecies: 1, because key study is in human subjects
Intraspecies: 3; the response to a direct irritant is not expected to differ greatly among humans (NRC 2001), and the resulting AEGL-1 value appears protective for asthmatics on the basis of data on HCl (NRC 2004).
Modifying factor: Not applied
Animal-to-human dosimetric adjustment: Not applicable
Time scaling: Not applied; humans adapt to the slight sensory irritation.
Data adequacy: Old but well-conducted study with human subjects. AEGL-1 value is supported by similar AEGL values for other chemicals in this class, HF and HCl. The databases on HF and HCl are robust.
Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
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AEGL-2 VALUES

10 min 30 min 1 h 4 h 8 h
250 ppm 83 ppm 40 ppm 10 ppm 5 ppm
Data adequacy: The database on HBr is inadequate, so AEGL-2 values were derived by dividing the AEGL-3 values by 3. This is supported by the steep concentration-response curve observed in the lethality studies by MacEwen and Vernot (1972).

AEGL-3 VALUES

10-min 30-min 1-hr 4-hr 8-hr
740 ppm 250 ppm 120 ppm 31 ppm 15 ppm
Key reference: MacEwen, J.D., and E.H. Vernot. 1972. Toxic Hazards Research Unit Annual Technical Report: 1972. AMRL-TR- 72-62. AD 755-358. Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH.
Test species/Strain/Number: Rat, Sprague-Dawley, 10 per group
Exposure route/Concentrations/Durations: Inhalation; 2,205-3,822 ppm for 1 h
Effects:
Lethality: 2,205 ppm: 1/10
2.328 ppm: 4/10
2,759 ppm: 4/10
3,253 ppm: 6/10
3,711 ppm: 7/10
3,822 ppm: 10/10
End point/Concentration/Rationale: 1-h BMCL05 of 1,239 ppm
Uncertainty factors/Rationale:
Total uncertainty factor: 10
Interspecies: 3, a direct-contact irritant is not expected to vary greatly between species (NRC 2001)
Intraspecies: 3, response to a direct-contact irritant is not expected to vary greatly among humans (NRC 2001)
Modifying factor: Not applied
Animal-to-human dosimetric adjustment: Insufficient data
Time scaling: Cn × t = k; n = 1 on the basis of rat and mouse lethality data on HCl.
Data adequacy: Although there were only two well-conducted studies of HBr in the rat and mouse, the values are consistent with those for the related chemicals, HF and HCl. The databases for HF and HCl are robust.
Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×
Page 429
Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×
Page 430
Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×
Page 431
Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×
Page 432
Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×
Page 433
Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×
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Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×
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Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×
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Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×
Page 437
Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×
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Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×
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Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×
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Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×
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Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×
Page 442
Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×
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Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×
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Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
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Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
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Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
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Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
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Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×
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Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
×
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Suggested Citation:"8 Hydrogen Bromide Acute Exposure Guideline Levels." National Research Council. 2014. Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 17. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18796.
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Extremely hazardous substances can be released accidentally as a result of chemical spills, industrial explosions, fires, or accidents involving railroad cars and trucks transporting EHSs. Workers and residents in communities surrounding industrial facilities where these substances are manufactured, used, or stored and in communities along the nation's railways and highways are potentially at risk of being exposed to airborne EHSs during accidental releases or intentional releases by terrorists. Pursuant to the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified approximately 400 EHSs on the basis of acute lethality data in rodents.

Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals, Volume 17 identifies, reviews, and interprets relevant toxicologic and other scientific data for selected AEGL documents for acrylonitrile, carbon tetrachloride, cyanogen, epichlorohydrin, ethylene chlorohydrin, toluene, trimethylacetyl chloride, hydrogen bromide, and boron tribromide in order to develop acute exposure guideline levels (AEGLs) for these high-priority, acutely toxic chemicals.

AEGLs represent threshold exposure limits (exposure levels below which adverse health effects are not likely to occur) for the general public and are applicable to emergency exposures ranging from 10 minutes (min) to 8 h. Three levels - AEGL-1, AEGL-2, and AEGL-3 - are developed for each of five exposure periods (10 min, 30 min, 1 h, 4 h, and 8 h) and are distinguished by varying degrees of severity of toxic effects. This report will inform planning, response, and prevention in the community, the workplace, transportation, the military, and the remediation of Superfund sites.

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